Financial Aid Policies
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Academic Standards and Progress Policy
The U.S. Department of Education Requires All Students That Receive Financial Aid Must Make Progress Toward Their Program of Study
Northern Essex Community College has created the following standards to comply with the federal regulations. Students who fail to meet these standards may not receive financial aid, including loans.
A student’s entire academic history will be reviewed for the purposes of determining if they are meeting the academic standards set by the college, including credits not paid for by financial aid. For all degree and certificate students, progress will be reviewed after the fall and spring and summer semesters.
Return of Title IV Funds Consumer Information
Northern Essex Community College is required to determine the earned and unearned portions of Title IV aid (Federal Financial Aid) within 45 days of the date in which Student Financial Services is notified, a student ceases to attend all of his/her classes. Earned and unearned aid is based on the amount of time a student spent in attendance. Up through the 60 percent point in each semester a pro-rata schedule is used to determine the amount of Federal Financial Aid a student has earned at the time of withdrawal. After the 60 percent point in the semester a student has earned 100 percent of their Federal Financial Aid.
NOTE: The Return of Title IV Funds (R2T4) regulations do not dictate an institutional refund policy. Withdrawing from or ceasing to attend classes can result in owing a balance to NECC if a student does not earn enough financial aid to cover their bill. See the NECC refund policy .
EXAMPLE: Sally Student is enrolled in two classes and is charged $1,300 in tuition and fees. She has been awarded $1,000 of financial aid, which means she owes NECC a balance due of $300 ($1,300 – $1,000). Sally withdraws from all of her classes during week six of the semester. It is determined that Sally has attended 40 percent of the semester. Therefore, the R2T4 calculation dictates that Sally gets to keep $400 (or 40 percent) of her financial aid. Sally’s balance due NECC is now $900 because she withdrew after the NECC refund period ($1,300 – $400).
In most cases, only students who have withdrawn from all classes and/or have been reported as not participating/attending are subject to the R2T4 calculation. Situations that would not require a R2T4 calculation include students who were only awarded federal work-study and those students who never began attendance in any classes. Also, if a student withdraws from some, but not all their classes, a R2T4 is usually not required. The exception to this rule includes students who are attending 13 week classes, 8 week classes or summer classes. A R2T4 calculation may be required based on any withdrawal from a class during that period of enrollment. If you are attending a class that is less than 15 weeks in length, please consult the financial aid office to determine how a withdrawal will affect your financial aid eligibility.
NECC will return the required amount of Federal/State financial aid based on the R2T4 calculation based upon the following priority: Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), Direct Subsidized Loan, Direct Unsubsidized Loan and Federal Direct PLUS Loan. Student Financial Services will then bill a student for any outstanding balance.
Acceptable methods of payment for paying an outstanding balance after a R2T4 calculation include cash, personal check (if no previous check has bounced), bank check, credit cards, debit cards, and money orders. Students who owe money can be sent to the College’s collection agencies and then to the state intercept program, based on the Bursars policies and procedures for all outstanding bills.
Occasionally a student who withdraws from NECC is entitled to a post-withdrawal disbursement. A post-withdrawal disbursement occurs when the R2T4 calculation determines that a student is entitled to financial aid even though the student has completely withdrawn or stopped attending. If a student withdraws and is entitled to a post-withdrawal disbursement of a student loan or a parent is entitled to a post-withdrawal disbursement of a Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS), a disbursement notice is mailed to the student informing them of their eligibility for the loan funds. It is your right/responsibility as a student to notify NECC within two weeks of the date of the letter if you do not wish to receive the loan funds. If you decline the post-withdrawal disbursement or do not respond to the disbursement notice, the post-withdrawal loan will be canceled.
Financial Aid Code of Conduct – Student Aid and Loan Programs
The primary goal of NECC and the Financial Aid Team is to help students achieve their educational potential by providing appropriate financial resources. To this end, financial aid professionals are guided by a set of principles that serve as a common foundation for an acceptable standard of conduct. NECC and the Financial Aid Team shall:
- Maintain the highest level of professionalism
- Commit to the highest level of ethical behavior and refrain from a direct or perceived conflict of interest
- Respect the dignity and protect the privacy of students
- Ensure the confidentiality of student records and personal circumstances
- Provide information to families about lenders that have proven to provide the best combination of price, access to funds, and service to students and families
Further, NECC ensures that all officers, trustees, directors, employees or agents, and financial aid professionals adhere to the following:
- May not accept gifts, meals, travel, or any other non-trivial items from student loan providers in connection with the institution’s loan business
- May not accept, from a lending institution, money, equipment, or printing services or anything of value that may provide or suggest an advantage or grant a preferred status
- If serving as a member of a lending institution’s advisory board, may not accept anything of value in exchange for this service, such as “revenue sharing”
*Adopted from the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education Code of Conduct – Student Loan Programs